Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: India’s COVID-19 tally surpassed 1.11 crore on Tuesday with less than 15,000 new infections, while the active cases registered a drop after rising for five straight days and were recorded at 1.70 lakhs, according to the Union Health Ministry data. Single-day testing rose again compared to the previous day, it’s up nearly 8 lakhs. The total coronavirus cases reached 1.11 crore in the country, while the death toll rose to more than 1.55 lakhs with 98 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am on Monday showed.

With that it’s a wrap to the LIVE updates on the coronavirus pandemic for today. Do join us tomorrow for the top developments on the COVID-19 situation from India and around the world. Until then stay safe and good night.

Mumbai sees 1,121 new COVID-19 cases

Mumbai reported 1,121  on Wednesday fresh coronavirus positive cases, the highest in the last two days, while six persons succumbed to the viral infection, the city civic body said. Mumbai’s cumulative case tally now stands at 3,28,740, while the death toll increased to 11,482, it said, adding that the city has 10,010 active cases.

England’s Tom Banton among two foreigners in PSL to test positive for COVID-19

 

England batsman Tom Banton is one of the two foreign players who tested positive for COVID19 in the ongoing Pakistan Super League and he has been put under isolation, the cricketer confirmed.  Pakistan Cricket Board’s Director of Media Sami Burney had announced on Tuesday that two foreign players and one member of the support staff had tested positive for the virus. This was after Australian legspinner Fawad Ahmed tested positive on Monday.

Jobless aid, direct checks in play as US Senate nears vote on COVID-19 aid bill

The US Senate is expected to vote as early as Wednesday on whether to move forward on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, an action that would set up a final Senate vote on passage for later this week.

Infosys, Accenture to cover COVID-19 vaccination costs for Indian workers

Information Technology major Infosys and consulting and outsourcing services provider Accenture said on Wednesday they would cover COVID19 vaccination costs for their employees in India, as the country expands its  massive vaccination drive.

Kerala reports 2,765 COVID-19 cases, 15 deaths

Kerala reported 2,765 new  COVID19 cases and 15 more deaths on Wednesday, pushing the caseload to 10,67,393 and toll to 4,241, while 4,031 people recuperated from the disease, taking the tally to 10,16,515. Health minister K K Shailaja said the state tested 59,646samples in the last 24 hours and the test positivity rate was4.64 per cent.

School closure  due to COVID-19 impacted 247 mn children in India: UNICEF study

Closure of 1.5 million schools due to coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdowns in 2020 impacted 247 million children enrolled in elementary and secondary schools in India, a UNICEF report has found. Globally, schools for more than 168 million children have been completely closed for almost a full year, it said.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin 81% efficient in Phase 3 trials


Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield are the two vaccines that are being administered in the country.

#JustIn | Bharat Biotech Announces Phase 3 Results of #COVAXIN: India’s First COVID-19 Vaccine Demonstrates Interim Clinical Efficacy of 81%

Data from 25,800 participants, received a vaccine or placebo in a 1:1 ratio showed that the vaccine candidate was well tolerated. pic.twitter.com/UCz5RcuSAy

— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18Live) March 3, 2021

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin 81% efficient in Phase 3 trials

Vaccine major Bharat Biotech on Wednesday said its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, has demonstrated an interim vaccine efficacy of 81 per cent in the Phase 3 clinical trials. The trials involved 25,800 subjects, the largest ever conducted in India, in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Hyderabad-based company said in a statement. “Today is an important milestone in vaccine discovery, for science and our fight against coronavirus. With today’s results from our Phase 3 clinical trials, we have now reported data on our COVID-19 vaccine from Phase 1, 2, and 3 trials involving around 27,000 participants,” Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella said. Covaxin demonstrates high clinical efficacy trend against COVID-19 but also significant immunogenicity against the rapidly emerging variants, he added.

 

 

Read the complete story below.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin shows 81% efficacy in Phase 3 trials

Covaxin has demonstrated 81 percent efficacy in preventing COVID-19 in those without prior infection after the second dose in the phase 3 trial.Get latest Healthcare online at cnbctv18.com

Kapil Dev receives first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

 Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev on Wednesday received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a renowned city hospital in New Delhi. The 62-year-old World Cup-winning captain got vaccinated at the capital’s Fortis hospital.

People recovered from COVID-19 showing faster antibody response to Covishield vaccine: study

 

Those who have recovered from COVID19 respond faster to the Covishield vaccine and reach high antibody levels, says a study, leading to hopes that they may not need a second dose and therefore help widen India’s corona immunisation cover.  The study on the immune response to Covishield was carried out by researchers from New Delhi’s CSIRInstitute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Max Super Speciality Hospital and Institute of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism  as well as the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR) in Ghaziabad. Covishield is inducing a robust immune response. Those who are seropositive at baseline respond faster and reach higher antibody levels, CSIRIGIB Director Anurag Agrawal, one of the authors of the study, told PTI.

Bharat Biotech COVID vaccine phase-3 trial results: COVAXIN demonstrates clinical efficacy of 81%

Bharat Biotech on Wednesday announced phase-3 trial results for COVAXIN. The company said that the COVID-19 vaccine has demonstrated interim clinical efficacy of 81 percent.

 

  

 

Data from 25,800 participants, received a vaccine or placebo in a 1:1 ratio showed that the vaccine candidate was well tolerated.

 

COVAXIN demonstrated 81% interim efficacy in preventing COVID-19 in those without prior infection after the second dose.

Clinical trial will continue through to final analysis at 130 confirmed cases in order to gather further data and to evaluate the efficacy of COVAXIN in additional secondary study endpoints.

COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to African nations speed up

More African countries received the long-awaited first deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, with Kenya and Rwanda benefiting from the global COVAX initiative that aims to ensure doses for the worlds low-and middle-income nations.

World Bank readies COVID-19 vaccine funds for 30 African countries

The World Bank is preparing an emergency fund to help nearly 30 African countries access COVID-19 vaccines, the global lender told Reuters, as the continent scrambles to secure doses and start immunising vulnerable groups.

Japan planning to ban overseas Olympic spectators over COVID-19 fears – report

Japan’s government is planning to stop overseas spectators coming to the Summer Olympics due to worries they will spread the coronavirus, a report said on Wednesday, as many Japanese remain opposed to holding the Games during the pandemic. The final decision would be made this month after talks with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other parties, the Mainichi newspaper reported, citing multiple unnamed sources. The government would continue to consider whether to accept spectators from within Japan, including the number allowed into venues, the Mainichi added. The report came as the local organising committee was set to host a meeting on Wednesday with officials from the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee, and the Tokyo and national governments. The question of whether to allow spectators into venues was top of the agenda and organisers have previously said they would make a decision by March.

UK COVID-19 deaths falling fastest among people over 80s

Coronavirus-related deaths in England and Wales are falling fastest among those aged 80 and over thanks to the vaccine rollout in the UK, statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed. There were 1,622 deaths for those over 80 years old in the week to February 19, down 69 per cent from 5,300 four weeks earlier, Xinhua news agency quoted the ONS as saying on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the number of deaths among those aged 70 to 79 dropped 65 per cent over the same period, while the number of deaths in the 0 to 69 age group fell by 55 percent. According to the ONS, these discrepancies between age groups suggest the vaccine program has been an important factor in preventing coronavirus mortality.

 

 

World War II type collab: Merck will help manufacture J&J COVID-19 vax

In a rare deal between competitors, pharmaceutical major Merck, known as MSD outside the US and Canada, has inked a deal to support efforts to expand manufacturing capacity and supply of Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, American President Joe Biden said. “Two of the largest healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in the world — that are usually competitors — are working together on the vaccine,” Biden said in a statement on Tuesday. “Johnson & Johnson and Merck will work together to expand the production of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. This is the type of collaboration between companies we saw in World War Two.” Merck will use its facilities in the US to produce drug substance, formulate and fill vials of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. “We are steadfast in our commitment to contribute to the global response to the pandemic as part of the remarkable efforts of the entire medical and scientific community,” Mike Nally, Executive Vice President, Human Health at Merck, said in a separate statement.

Gurugram Health Department to begin random COVID-19 testing

As the number of Covid-19 cases is increasing daily in Gurugram, the Health Department will soon begin random testing across the district, officials said on Wednesday. Recently, an upscale condominium in Sector-67 at Gurugram was declared a containment zone after 22 cases of Covid-19 infections were detected there. Gurugram has reported more than 35 cases a day during the last 10 days with more than 3,000 tests conducted in a day, the officials added. As per health officials, random sampling would be conducted in societies, containment zones and several other locations in Gurugram. Earlier in Gurugram, random sampling of commuters for Covid-19 was done by the health department at Kherki Daula toll, Sadar Bazar, malls, bus stands and government offices, officials said.

US halts trial of COVID-19 convalescent plasma

The US’ National Institutes of Health (NIH) has halted a clinical trial evaluating the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 convalescent plasma in treating emergency department patients who develop mild to moderate symptoms. An independent data and safety monitoring board met for the second planned interim analysis of the trial data, and determined that while the convalescent plasma intervention caused no harm, it was unlikely to benefit this group of patients, the NIH said in a statement issued on Tuesday. Launched in August 2020, the trial was being conducted at 47 hospital emergency departments across the US and had enrolled over 500 participants, Xinhua news agency reported.

97 new cases push Odisha’s COVID-19 tally to 3,37,448

Odisha’s COVID-19 tally surged to over 3.37 lakh on Wednesday as 97 more people tested positive for the infection, a health official said. Fifty-eight new cases were reported in quarantine centres, while 39 fresh infections were detected during contact tracing, he said. Khurda district reported the highest number of new cases at 14, followed by Sambalpur (13) and Sundergarh (11). The state’s coronavirus death toll remained unchanged at 1,917 as no fresh fatality was reported, he said. Fifty-three other coronavirus patients have died due to comorbidities so far. The state now has 775 active cases, while more than 3 lakh people have recovered from the disease to date. Odisha has so far tested over 83.83 lakh samples for COVID-19, including some 23,000 in the last 24 hours.

Here’s how to register on the CoWIN platform

Confused about how to register on the #CoWIN platform? Visit https://t.co/G4e2WXWB9X and follow the steps given below! #LargestVaccineDrive #IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/FrKKfzTeP7

— MyGovIndia (@mygovindia) March 3, 2021

Government permits 24-hour vaccination in private hospitals

Centre has ended the time constraint to increase the speed of vaccination in the country, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister said on Twitter. Citizens of the country can get vaccinated as per their convenience, 24×7, he said. The government took this decision on the third day of the phase two of the first such historic vaccination drive. On March 1, the vaccination drive was extended to senior citizens and those with comorbidities but above the age of 45 years. Currently, private hospitals are charging Rs 250 per jab, while government centers are carrying out vaccination free of charge. Of all the people vaccinated till Tuesday, however, 74 percent preferred private hospitals, government data showed.

All should come forward to take COVID-19 vaccine: Kerala CM

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his wife Kamala Vijayan on Wednesday arrived at the state-run hospital here and took the COVID-19 vaccine jabs. Later, the Chief Minister urged all the people to get themselves vaccinated. Vijayan and his wife were escorted to the room where both of them received the vaccine shots. After a 30-minute observation, Vijayan came out of the hospital and told the media that the only thing he knew was when the needle was inserted and he was told the process is over. “After a 30-minute rest, I have no issues regarding the vaccine and today I asked the state Health Minister K.K. Shailaja who had taken the vaccine shot on Tuesday, how she felt. She replied that she was perfectly fine,” said Vijayan. “All people should come forward to take the vaccine shot as there is no need to be worried about it. Vaccination in our country has always been undertaken and back then in Kerala, small pox was a major menace but with vaccination, it disappeared. So is the case with polio. Why I am saying this is because from some quarters there have been voices raised against the vaccination. So, none should hesitate and all should go forward and take the vaccine,” Vijayan added.

Explosion at Dutch COVID-19 test centre appears intentional: police

The Dutch police on Wednesday said the explosion at the coronavirus testing location north of Amsterdam appeared to have been intentionally targeted. The blast in the town of Bovenkarspel, 55 km north of the capital, shattered windows but caused no injuries, police from the province of North Holland said in a statement. They said they had cordoned off the area to investigate. The explosive “must have been placed” there, police spokesman Menno Hartenberg told Reuters, adding that “something metal” had caused the explosion. “We don’t know yet exactly what exploded, the explosives experts must first investigate,” Hartenberg said. “What we’re saying is that something like that doesn’t just happen by accident, it has to be laid,” the spokesman said.

“Everyone must get vaccinated, it’s important for nation, their family, and themselves,” Delhi’s first COVID-19 patient

I’ve applied for vaccination for senior citizens & those above 45 yrs with comorbidities in my family. I’ve no comorbidities, so haven’t applied yet. Everyone must get vaccinated. It’s important for nation, their family & they themselves: Rohit Dutta, Delhi’s 1st #COVID19 patient pic.twitter.com/oa2A17zAzb

— ANI (@ANI) March 3, 2021

Israeli scientists develop rapid test for COVID strains

 Israeli scientists have developed a rapid cost-effective test that identifies two of the mutated Covid-19 strains, Ben Gurion University (BGU) in southern Israel said. The current standard for coronavirus variants testing is sequencing the entire virus genome, which is expensive and time-consuming, Xinhua news agency reported. The new test, however, reduces the time needed to determine whether an infection is caused by a variant from days to hours, BGU said in a statement on Tuesday. In their study, published on the preprint server MedRxiv, a team of BGU researchers has developed the rapid test based on the gene deletion that differentiates the variants from the original SARS-CoV-2 strain. The team successfully tried their test on samples taken from the sewage system in the southern city of Beer Sheva.

Israeli scientists develop rapid test for COVID strains

Israeli scientists have developed a rapid cost-effective test that identifies two of the mutated Covid-19 strains, Ben Gurion University (BGU) in southern Israel said. The current standard for coronavirus variants testing is sequencing the entire virus genome, which is expensive and time-consuming, Xinhua news agency reported. The new test, however, reduces the time needed to determine whether an infection is caused by a variant from days to hours, BGU said in a statement on Tuesday. In their study, published on the preprint server MedRxiv, a team of BGU researchers has developed the rapid test based on the gene deletion that differentiates the variants from the original SARS-CoV-2 strain. The team successfully tried their test on samples taken from the sewage system in the southern city of Beer Sheva.

Explosion hits Dutch COVID-19 testing centre, no injuries: police

An explosion hit a coronavirus testing centre in a town north of Amsterdam shortly before it was to open on Wednesday, breaking windows but causing no injuries, Dutch police said. The blast was in the town of Bovenkarspel, police from the province of North Holland said in a statement. They said they had cordoned off the area to investigate.

Patient dies after receiving AstraZeneca vax in S.Korea

A patient at a long-term care hospital in South Korea with underlying diseases died on Wednesday after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19, officials said. The 50-something patient was vaccinated on Tuesday morning at the hospital in Goyang, just outside of Seoul’s northwestern border. The patient began to show symptoms of heart failure and difficulty in breathing by the afternoon but recovered after being put under emergency care, reports Yonhap news agency. The symptoms recurred on Wednesday morning before the patient died. Health officials said they have yet to determine whether the patient suffered side effects from the vaccine. The patient’s pre-existing conditions included heart problems, diabetes and a stroke. AstraZeneca is yet to react to the incident. The Daily Mail, quoting new findings, reported earlier this week that just one shot of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine reduces the risk of being hospitalised by Covid-19 by more than 90 percent.

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